Why a Nighttime Routine Matters

A nighttime routine is the things you do immediately prior to going to bed. For example, it may be your habit to have a cup of tea before going to bed, or perhaps you like to read a book in bed before falling asleep.

Here are three benefits of having a decent nighttime routine

  • You’ll have a more restful and higher-quality sleep
  • You’ll be able to tackle the morning in a smoother and more productive way
  • Your mind will be sharper, and less foggy throughout the next day

How Sleep Helps Your Mental Health

During the day, your brain is hard at work making sure you walk, talk, blink, chew,  listen, and observe the world around you. This leaves little time to process thoughts and emotions. At night, your body is at rest, leaving your mind to sort through all the memories of the day.

If you do not get enough sleep, your brain will be bogged down with memories in the morning. This limits your ability to tackle the next day’s tasks. Think about how productive you feel when you come to work with nothing on your desk. Now think of the instant stress you feel with a pile of papers on your desk. Let your body rest long enough, and your brain will clear your mental desk for the next day.

Elements of a Good Sleep Routine

Here are some components you should try to incorporate in your sleep routine:

  • Make it a true “routine”- Your body thrives on predictable habits. That’s why muscle memory is so powerful. By going to bed around the same time each night, you’ll find it even easier to go to sleep in the future.
  • Wind down before you go to bed- If you go to bed while your mind is still racing, you’ll sit and ponder in frustration. You may even feel anxious because you can’t fall asleep right away. Spend some time relaxing before you go to bed – take a bath, read a book, or practice a self-care measure. Then you’ll feel more at ease when it’s time to fall asleep.
  • Avoid your phone/computer or tv for at least 30 minutes before sleep- The blue light on our screens triggers brain activity. If you check your phone, do some work from your laptop or cap off the night with a television show right before bed, you’re going to delay your sleep progress. Put these things away for 30 minutes or longer for the best chance at quick, and easy slumber.
  • Create a sleep-friendly environment- Turn the lights off,  and use room-darkening curtains to block outdoor lights. You could also use soothing music from the “Calm” app to help your mind relax at night.
  • Don’t drink before bed- This will cause you to use the restroom shortly after you fall asleep, which interrupts the solid sleep you get.
  • Limit caffeine during the day- You may feel reliant on caffeine right now because you don’t get much sleep at night. Drinking soda, coffee, and energy drinks inhibit your body’s natural energy cycle. This makes it harder to fall asleep, making you more dependent on caffeine the next day. Break the cycle and you’ll see a big change in your sleep quality.
  • Give some gratitude- Write down at least one thing you’re thankful for each day. Making gratitude a part of your routine can help you lead a healthy and happy life. You can use this Evening Inventory Worksheet to end the day on a positive note and set you up for a restful slumber.

These are just some of the techniques you can use to develop a healthy sleep routine. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by stress, you may need some extra support. Call us, at 306-757-6675. Our no-cost, call-in counselling service, Thrive Walk-in Counselling- is open 5 days a week from 12:30 pm-4:00 pm.

This blog post was created as part of our response to the Covid-19 pandemic. For more information about our response, including changes to our service delivery and other resources, please visit: http://familyserviceregina.com/covid19-a-message-from-the-ceo/